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Websites may try to hide their past, but these tools uncover what others may not want you to see

Tools you may have never known exist will uncover the past of websites that some may try to bury.

Ever wondered what the first-generation websites of today’s biggest companies looked like?

We received an email from Ken in Scottsdale, Arizona, raising a very interesting question about a website that once housed archives of old websites. Here’s what he had to say.

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“There used to be a website that had old websites on it. You could find what the first-generation website looked like for a particular company…I can’t find that website anymore. Do you know if it exists? Do you have the address? – Ken, Scottsdale, AZ”

As it turns out, there are a few different resources that you can use to find out what websites used to look like back in the day. Whether you’re trying to prove that a site policy showed a warranty period they later changed, a product seemed to disappear, or you are doing detective work for a presentation to look at the history of the web, these are the resources that you can use to find those older web pages.

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The Wayback Machine is on archive.org and is a non-profit digital library that offers free universal access to millions of websites, books, movies, software, music and other cultural artifacts. On the website, you can search for what other websites used to look like years ago. For example, I was able to go in and see what Yahoo’s website looked like from back in 1996.

Old Yahoo search page

The Wayback Machine is on archive.org and is a non-profit digital library that offers free universal access to millions of websites, books, movies,

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